Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sharing the Art of Digital Cartooning

I have an amazing artist friend, Kent, who is like my brotha-from-anotha-motha.  Artistically, we seem to always be on the same page.  This morning, I was watching a Martha Stewart video on how to felt a small chick out of wool, and when I mention it to him, he goes, "oh, I just did that too."  Then, of course, comes an excited exchange  of technique and where to buy materials, and what his next project will be.  Turns out we belong to the same craft meet-up group, and and are often exploring the same arts and crafts.  He's been delving into the Japanese mini-fake food craft trend lately, and I look forward to checking that out as well.

He's a professional graphic designer, and I love everything he designs, including these cute little doodle cube characters.  The characters are sold as pins, stickers and stamps online and at different stores, and I was really inspired at the way he merchandised and promoted his work.

Recently, he offered his knowledge of Adobe Illustrator to teach some kids how to do a digital cartoons and make buttons out of their creations.  Kent offered this through my school's auction (raising lots of money for the kids), and today, our winning bidders spent the morning learning to cartoon on their computers.

Besides whipping up a delicious spaghetti lunch for the kids, I also followed the lesson along with them, learning to do cute characters and making some buttons of my company logo.

I think the boys who learned from Kent came away with really great characters from the program, and Adobe Illustrator software so they could continue cartooning at home.  I enjoyed myself too -- always love to learn something new, and appreciated that he shared his love of digital cartooning with us.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Warmest day in months Inspires us with a new flower bed

Nothing like a gorgeous, sunny day to bring you outside after spending the last couple of months keeping warm indoors.  The warmest day in weeks came this early March weekend, and Jan and I decided to add some shade-lovin' plants to welcome those who come to our front door.  It's an area we've struggled with since moving in 5 years ago.  The front corner gets no sun, and plants fail to thrive.  We removed a strip of grass along the right side of the walkway and went to the plant nursery for some plants that love the shade.  What a great assortment this time!  I'm so excited to see how they'll do over the spring and summer.

As an artist, my favorite part of gardening is figuring out what plants go where, and what areas to accessorize with rocks, statues and whimsical gnomes! 

This is our front door area a little over a year ago.  You can see what landscaping we've had fun with since then!
The Heather behind the Pelican was a difficult decision for me.  Bees seem to LOVE this plant, and I really HATE bees!  

And this is how I rewarded myself after a back-breaking day of gardening and artistic landscaping.  A Reed's Ginger brew and chocolate chip cookie.  MMMMMM!